The Batman Who Laughs #6
Batman has activated Last Laugh. It’s spreading throughout the city, creating a shield against The Batman Who Laughs and the Grim Knight. But Batman knows it will not be enough and he’s planning for it. Even as he disrupts one of the BWL’s attempted assassinations of yet another Bruce Wayne, the two Gordons raid Batman’s armory in an effort to take down the Grim Knight.
But Batman is slowly slipping into darkness. Alfred can only watch from the Batcave as Bruce’s entire body slowly succumbs to the Joker’s poison. Batman confronts his arch nemesis at the site of the very last Bruce Wayne: a child. But it’s not quite as it seems. Batman hasn’t been setting a trap for the BWL. The Batman Who Laughs has been setting a trap for him. The child flees as Batman finally sees his entire body taken over by the toxin, even as the Batman Who Laughs stabs him with a syringe, the final component to his serum within his grasp.
Have you ever read a book and been so bored with it your first time reading? Then you take a second look and realize that maybe it’s not that bad. And a third reading and it finally dawns on me what Snyder was getting at.
I’ll get to that in a minute, though.
A good chunk of this book feels like filler. That was my initial impression of it. It felt like they were just trying to stretch out this miniseries. We run into the same problem that we had with the Metal miniseries. Again and again we start with Batman seeming to have the upper hand only to have the rug pulled out from under him. If Snyder has any tropes, it’s this. He loves to give us hope and then yank it away until the very end. And in the Batman Who Laughs, as in Metal, he’s done this several times. And to be fair, it’s getting old.
But Jock’s art work is top notch. His shadows and distorted shapes give the book the perfect touch of horror and insanity. And David Baron’s colors are a real stand out as they complete the crazy picture, both giving us the experience of Batman as he loses himself completely but also contrasting the characters with the background and reminding us what our focus should be on. It, just like Jock’s art, gives us a new level to this book.
And of course Sal Cipriano’s letters. Once again, they complete the picture of the asylum we find ourselves in. (and don’t forget to look for the hidden messages)
But back to Snyder’s story.
Ultimately, this issue comes down to one profound statement.
You can only be happy when you let go of your depression, of your ideals, of everything.
Now, of course this is a little deeper when we think of what this means for Batman. Because this is a man who is wound so tight, keeping such a short leash on his emotions, on his failings. And letting go means giving in, means giving up, and that’s something he cannot do. So he cannot be happy.
Unfortunately, letting go also means allowing his nightmare free. So we’ll see how that resolves next issue.
Batman Who Laughs #6 is a beautifully done issue with amazing art from Jock, colors from Baron, and letters from Cipriano. And what may seem as a filler is redeemed as the Batman Who Laughs unveils his plans for our Batman. It’s definitely a stunning issue you need to pick up if you haven’t already!
The Batman Who Laughs #6: Never Let Go
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10